Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

    The real-life Day After Tomorrow: The Gulf Stream could COLLAPSE as early as 2025 – plunging Europe into a deep freeze, scientists warn

    In the 2004 film ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, humanity is plunged into a nightmarish international storm that sends the planet into a new Ice Age.

    And although the blockbuster was relegated to the realm of science fiction, the science behind the terrifying scenario is true.

    Within decades, melting glaciers could close the Gulf Stream, the system of currents that brings heat to the Northern Hemisphere, experts say.

    Without this additional heat source, average temperatures could drop several degrees in North America, parts of Asia and Europe, and people would see “severe and cascading consequences around the world.”

    An abrupt shutdown of Atlantic Ocean currents appears more likely than ever, scientists warn, as computer simulations find a “cliff-like” tipping point looming in the near future.

    In some parts of Europe, the collapse of a large ocean current system called AMOC could cause a temperature drop of more than 5.4°F (3°C) every 10 years.

    In the Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ (pictured), ocean currents around the world stop as a result of global warming, triggering a new Ice Age on Earth.

    The study’s authors, from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, don’t know exactly when the collapse will occur, although a previous study put it next year.

    “We are getting closer to collapse, but we are not sure how much closer,” said lead author René van Westen, a climatologist and oceanographer at Utrecht University.

    “We are heading towards a turning point.”

    According to van Westen, when a global climate catastrophe like the one in ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ can occur is “the million-dollar question.”

    “Unfortunately we cannot respond to that at this time,” he said.

    “It also depends on the rate of climate change we are causing as humanity.”

    The Gulf Stream is part of a much larger system of currents, officially called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation or AMOC.

    Described as “the conveyor belt of the ocean”, it transports warm water near the ocean’s surface northward, from the tropics to the northern hemisphere.

    When warm water reaches the North Atlantic (around Europe, the United Kingdom, and the east coast of the United States), it releases heat and freezes.

    As this ice forms, salt is left in the ocean water.

    Due to the large amount of salt in the water, it becomes denser, sinks and is carried south into the depths.

    Eventually, the water returns to the surface and is heated in a process called upwelling, completing the cycle.

    Scientists believe AMOC brings enough heat to the Northern Hemisphere that without it, much of Europe could freeze over.

    Formally known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), it drives the Gulf Stream that brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to the northeastern US coast.

    WHAT IS THE AMOC?

    The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is an important component of the Earth’s climate system.

    The pattern transports warm, salty water in the upper layers of the Atlantic to the north, and colder fresh water in the deep Atlantic to the south.

    This ocean circulation system transports a substantial amount of heat from the tropics and the Southern Hemisphere to the North Atlantic, where the heat is transferred to the atmosphere.

    High levels of carbon dioxide would cause ice in the Arctic and Greenland to melt, increasing the amount of freshwater draining into the ocean.

    This increase in fresh water would alter the AMOC, which depends on a balance between fresh and salt water.

    Previous studies have already shown that due to climate change, the AMOC is slowing down.

    The engine of this conveyor belt is off the coast of Greenland, where, as more ice melts due to climate change, more fresh water flows into the North Atlantic and slows everything down.

    The new study predicts that an abrupt closure of the AMOC could occur in the coming decades, rather than in the next few centuries as previously thought.

    The researchers designed a computer simulation in which they were able to measure a sudden weakening of ocean circulation.

    The simulation introduced fresh water into the Atlantic Ocean and, as a result, the strength of the circulation gradually decreased until it reached a critical “tipping point” and collapsed.

    According to the results, the European climate will cool by about 1.8°F (1°C) per decade, and some regions will even experience cooling of more than 5.4°F (3°C) per decade, much faster than current global warming of about 0.36 F (0.2 C) per decade.

    In addition to plunging countries into a deep freeze, this would extend Arctic ice further south, further increase heat in the Southern Hemisphere, change global rainfall patterns and disrupt the Amazon rainforest.

    Other scientists say it would be a catastrophe that could cause food and water shortages around the world.

    AMOC Collapse: Would change climate around the world because it means the shutdown of one of the planet’s key climate and ocean forces. It would drop temperatures in northwestern Europe by 9 to 27 degrees (5 to 15 degrees Celsius) over decades.

    “We found that once the tipping point is reached, the conveyor belt stops after 100 years,” the authors say.

    “Northward heat transport is greatly reduced, causing abrupt climate changes.”

    The only thing they couldn’t identify is when exactly this tipping point will be reached, although it is at least decades away, if not longer.

    “The research convincingly demonstrates that the AMOC is approaching a tipping point based on a robust, physically based early warning indicator,” said Tim Lenton, professor of climate change at the University of Exeter, who was not involved in the study. the study.

    “What it can’t (and doesn’t) say is how close the tipping point is, because it shows there isn’t enough data to make a statistically reliable estimate of that point.”

    The study has been published in the journal Scientific advances.

    What would the world be like if the Gulf Stream collapsed?

    If the AMOC were to collapse, much less heat would reach Western Europe and the region would be plunged into very severe winters, the kind of scenario described in extreme terms in the film The Day After Tomorrow.

    Until the 19th century, it was relatively stable, but the current decreased after the so-called “Little Ice Age” ended in 1850.

    Temperatures dropped enough for the River Thames to freeze completely and records show that Londoners crossed the canal on foot.

    The last closure probably occurred at the end of the last Ice Age, 12,000 years ago, and caused a temperature drop of 5°C to 10°C in Western Europe.

    In the event of another collapse, not only would European winters become much colder, but summer droughts, storms and heat waves would likely become more common.

    Sea levels could rise by up to nearly 20 inches around the North Atlantic basin, which surrounds the east coast of the United States.

    This would end up pushing people living along the coast inland to escape the floods. There would be a widespread collapse of deep-sea ecosystems.

    In the United States, Florida would be especially affected, as the northward flow of water would stop and accumulate on the state’s coast.

    A study published Last year there was an analysis of how the termination of the AMOC could specifically affect the United Kingdom.

    The Little Ice Age, a centuries-long cold period that lasted until about 1850. Experts believe that when the North Atlantic began to warm near the end of the Little Ice Age, fresh water disrupted the system. Pictured, Thames Frost Fair, 1683–84, by Thomas Wyke

    Researchers at the University of Exeter ran a computer model and found that by 2080 the climate would be 3.4°C colder than last year.

    Rainfall during the growing season is expected to decrease by 123 mm, they added.

    This, Ars Technique It is reported to be enough to reduce UK arable land from 32 per cent to just seven per cent, greatly affecting food production.

    The effects would not be felt in Europe or the United States, and forecasts also project that the collapse of the AMOC would also increase drought in the Sahel in Africa.

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